As coursework deadlines loom, it’s time to get back into the swing of things, to finish the year off right. Here are my tips on how to do just that:
I know everyone and their nan has said this to you since GCSEs, but the reason it’s so popular is because the strategy seems to work for nearly everyone. However, this time, we’re not in exam season; make sure to factor in social engagements, society meetups and sports/extracurriculars if they apply. If you don’t live on campus, also think about time taken to travel in.
2. Be realistic
As far as planning is useful, putting objectives that are improbably large on yourself cancels out the importance of a plan in the first place. I know, for example, that I need an hour to read about 20 pages’ worth of Spanish text. Therefore, I’m not going to predict myself to do more than that in one sitting because it won’t happen and it will ultimately annoy me more. The same goes for lists: use them as a crutch for your memory, not a rigid direction for your day-to-day (because you will drive yourself up the wall).
3. Meal plan
This isn’t necessary for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person who sees a snack/meal time as an excuse to spend an hour in the SU for no real reason other than as an excuse to not work, bringing them in from home might help. Not only is it cheaper, you have more of a range on what you can cook and you have the independence to eat when you want (hello to my 5pm dinner people, I see you). Again, know your timings; if you want to eat while watching an episode of The Crown, to fully put your mind at rest for a bit, plan to do just that.
4. Find your space
Some people require total silence (Level 5 in the library, in theory, provides that). Others like classical music (Spotify do some great features). Others may be okay with chart music, as long as they’re not prone to letting out a boogie mid-essay. The thing is, with our brilliantly busy campus, finding a regular spot isn’t easy or regular. So, because of that, ‘finding the space’ refers more to the atmosphere and tools you use to find the way you focus best. I used music as an example, but it could be lighting, having no distractions or having lots of distractions, etc. Bath is a varied campus, so go explore!
5. Rest well
I sometimes find that if I’m trying to do everything at once from 8am when I leave the house, to 5pm when I get back, I don’t seem to fully concentrate on anything, nor enjoy whatever it is I’m doing. Therefore, finding hobbies that are relaxing, a series you can switch off in front of or maybe just some stretching is equally fundamental to sourcing your productivity. As a sidenote to this, I’d also suggest not using your journey as the beginning of your working day; download a podcast or just people watch, because your mind is still waking up, meaning you can’t compartmentalise or focus very well. However, you may make an exception if you have homework due at your 9am and it’s 8.45am. Godspeed.